How to Hide Basement Ductwork
Hiding Basement Ductwork involves Building
Straight and Level Soffits
By: Mark J. Donovan
developing plans for finishing a basement the inevitable question comes
up on how to hide basement ductwork. Frequently basement ductwork is
sitting below the floor joists and running perpendicular to them. Thus
hiding basement ductwork can sometimes become somewhat of a challenge.
This said there are a couple of options you can consider for hiding
yet not very effective solution is to simply paint the ductwork the same
color as the ceiling and go for that industrial look basement ceiling. This
type of solution really doesn’t hide the ductwork, but instead makes it
less conspicuous to the eye when you walk down into the finished basement.
The second and
most prevalent choice for hiding basement ductwork is to box it in. Boxing
in basement ductwork involves building a soffit frame around the ductwork
using a combination of 2x3s, 2x4s and/or 1x3 furring strips, a.k.a.
Drywall can then be attached to
the soffit to completely hide the basement ductwork.
a soffit to hide basement ductwork, you want to make sure the soffit sits
as close to the ductwork as possible without touching it. Creating too
much clearance can result in low headroom, and having the soffit frame
touch the ductwork could lead to vibration sounds.
Typically a soffit frame is
constructed such that it creates a U or L shaped frame around the ductwork
such that it ties into the overhead floor joists. The framing of the soffit
should be done on standard 16 inch centers to aid in the hanging of drywall.
The U frame construction is required if the basement ductwork is not near a
wall. The L frame soffit construction is used in the event the basement
ductwork is near a wall edge.
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|The real art of
creating a soffit frame to hide basement ductwork is making it level. If it is
not level, you will end up seeing peaks and valleys in the drywall. Thus it is
important to use a level and a chalk line to create straight and level soffits.
In addition, use a miter saw to make the cuts, as the more accurate the cuts
the less likelihood of un-level soffit frames.
Photo By Mark Donovan
With these simple tips you should be able to create a straight and level soffit
such that you can nicely hide your basement ductwork in the ceiling of your
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